Tag Archives: relationships

How To Get Better & Paid Gigs With Roberto Hernandez

Drummer, author and podcast host Roberto Hernandez

Is it strange or interesting to find another drummer on the podcast?

We’re just multifaceted artists, not just musicians with sticks who like to hit things, ha!

I was intrigued by Roberto Hernandez from the first message he sent me. Perhaps that’s because he chose one of the most unique ways to introduce himself.

Instead of the same generic “Hi this is me and let me give you my bio and a zillion links so you’ll pay attention to me” intro message, he did something different.

He took a page out of the DIY Musician’s Radio Handbook and reached out in a personal way.

How Roberto Hernandez Proved His Uncommon-ness

Roberto made a video specifically for me. He talked about listening to The DIY Artist Route Podcast and what he enjoyed from it. Then he mentioned his book, The Unstarving Musician’s Guide To Getting Paid Gigs.

Then he asked what it would take to jump on the podcast.

I was interested from the beginning. That’s how it works. That’s not just how it works with me, it’s how it works with most music curators and media hosts. It’s how it works with people.

That’s the story behind how I heard about Roberto Hernandez and why I brought him on the podcast. It’s why I read his book. It’s how we became friends.

What Being Specific & Relationship Oriented Gets You

Since this podcast episode was recorded, I’ve connected him with many folks in my network including past podcast guests because I believe in him and what he’s doing. He has a great message to spread to musicians to get one BIG piece of the puzzle figured out: how to get gigs that pay you.

If you’re tired of doing free shows for “exposure” or struggle with the How-To of gigging, Roberto is your man. I highly recommend his book for not just musicians and bands, but also anyone who is trying to get paid gigs including speakers. His method works.

This podcast is about more than just gigging. It’s a closer look at effective strategies for that oh-so-difficult introduction to people you don’t know.

When I said that friends can ask for gold but strangers can’t even get candy, this is what I’m talking about. Part of the difficulty in getting people of influence’s attention is the perspective we lack when we make that introduction.

Appealing To The Basic Human Nature

Who’s the #1 person you’re the most interested in, or the person you want others to know most?

It’s human to say it’s you.

Even the most empathetic people in the world have self-interest. That’s not a bad thing. It’s an honest thing.

Yet most of the time, we greet a new person that we want to connect with by talking exclusively about ourselves instead of appealing to the person we want to talk with. That little bit of extra time, even if it’s 30 minutes, goes a long way. It appeals to the primary interest of that person.

It’s also a way to show you’re not just reaching out to get a handout and a back scratch.

Back scratches are the “hook me up with a review or an interview or a feature on your platform” ask.

I’m not in the back scratching business, and neither are any music curator, media host, or booking agent worth their salt.

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How To Initiate Connections With Influencers


Increase ___(fill in the blank)__.

These are what we want with our lives, our projects, our work, and our connections. Often though, growth means reaching outside of our social circles and into uncharted (or unknown) territory.

This new world is where people we don’t know reside.

We may know some powerful influencers’ names and faces (since the online world is so transparent; thank you Facebook) but we can’t call up folks like Oprah or Richard Branson and say “Hey, haven’t heard from you in a while. Let’s go grab a beer on Thursday and catchup.” We don’t have that kind of connection. Not yet.

So what do we do?

We jump on “connection outlets” like social media’s Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, and the lot.

We “Like” and “Follow” influencers and then send them private or direct messages hopeing to make a connection. Sometimes we get a reply or a “Like/Favorite” but mostly we get silence.

And then we search for what to say that will build the connection we seek so that what this person has or does can benefit us with where we want to go.

Sound familiar?

Does this quest for connection seem a little selfish? It does because it is. That’s ok, it’s human nature in a way, but it’s also one reason that making good, strong relationships with people we don’t know (or have direct access to) is so difficult.

When someone you meet in a face to face setting smiles, shakes your hand, and says it’s good to meet you, you feel welcomed in their presence. Yet, if this same person then spends the next 20 minutes telling you all about them, sharing their life story with you, their work, their struggles, what makes them tick and on and on……..How do you feel?

Seriously, how do you feel?

Do you still feel welcomed by them or to them? Is it really nice to be met by this person, or is it nice that they’ve found someone to listen to them drone on and on?

The same is true with our communication to new people in the digital realm. Often, we get an email address or a Twitter profile and we reach out to make a connection. Once a reply or connection is made, we are tempted to unleash a LET ME TELL YOU ALL ABOUT ME message bombardment, which many of us have done (myself included).

Sometimes we get a response from this message.

Often we don’t.

The same social norms and relationship rules that exist with our face-to-face interactions apply in the online world too, perhaps even more so because the face-to-face is missing.

Here’s the thing: It takes time to build a friendship or any relationship, even work or project related networking. People are human, not machines, so an instantaneous click doesn’t create a solid ally who automatically has your back and will go to war for your to see you succeed. That kind of connection takes time.

Yet that’s what we’re searching for, right? We want powerful and influential people to celebrate our work so that others will too. That’s the end goal. While “beginning with the end in mind” is a proven piece of wisdom in having clear vision, it does require some foresight and objectivity. It’s not wise to ask for the end goal at the start of the engagement.

There are people and companies online who are marketing and selling programs that supposedly give you access to the Oprahs, Jeff Bezos, and Lebron James of any industry. I don’t know how real these services are but I do know this: Making a lasting and true connection will take time and will require you to give something of yourself, particularly sincere interest in the other person.

My growth strategy and how I took my 1-man radio platform to a nation-wide audience through syndication involved slow, relational nurturing steps. Quick, fast, Me-First tactics produced little. Community building, relational and reciprocal connections took time, yes, but also made the best promotion and growth results I could have wished for.

Which would you prefer: Me-First, quick & fast with little signs of true and lasting growth
The Seeds that are planted, nurtured and cultivated to produce fruits to benefit you for years?

If you chose the latter, join me. I want to show you this process of building powerful connections.

It is a process and does take some time, but like learning how to bake or how to drive, once you know the steps you can adapt it to your own way of operation and grow even more.

How can you join me? Tell me here what influencers you want to connect with and what you are wanting from them to help you grow.

Want to Fast-Track your connection with Influencers by learning the process to take that makes it happen? All of the connection tips, insights, and how-to are mapped out and showcased right here. I’ve put together all of my available resources, lessons, and teaching materials for you to gain the most connection with influencers in your field including radio station managers, podcast hosts, music curators, program hosts, Spotify playlist-makers, bloggers, and iconic media figures.

Get signed up now to learn how to take your connections to a whole new level.

Overcoming the Magic Wand Myth

magic-hat-vector_z1Jxylw_Most of us want answers to the problems we face, and sometimes we look to people who claim to have a magic wand that can be waived over us and our dreams come true. Tell me if this sounds familiar:

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How about this one, it was sent to me by a friend who received a series of bogus claims through email. One of them was:

There are over one billion musicians on the web trying to climb over your dead body to their own success. But there is one simple 5 minute change you will learn that makes all competition a thing of the past. You and only you, stand on top of the mountain.

Does it make you a little curious (not in a good kind of curious way) when you see something like this?

If all it takes to go from the starting line to the finish line is 2 simple steps or signing up for a newsletter, then we all live in Bizarro-World because it’s not real.

Image from All-Star Superman #003; art by Frank Quitely

Image from All-Star Superman #003; art by Frank Quitely

*By the way, Bizarro-World is a place in DC Comics where Superman nemesis Bizarro lives; he is the polar opposite of the Man Of Steel in every way. My previous Seinfeld references also allude to the Bizzaro-Jerry episode. You don’t have to be a nerd like me to know the reference but it’s important for the analogy.

Here’s the deal: Process is how real things take place in the real world. Man, do I sound like my dad saying that? I’m sorry, it was not intended to come out that way. However, it’s still true.

Anyone claiming to lead you to change and growth that doesn’t involve a degree of process is selling you a bill of goods, or in actual terms, selling you a bunch of crap.

Hey, I’ll be honest with you that I’ve bought into the Magic Wand lie too, to my own detriment. I’ve seen the ads and bought the lines hoping to have a transformation take place in an instant to alleviate the problems or obstacles in my path. This actually is what caused many delays in my success and growth.

I’ve also made mistakes in following the wrong people in hopes of overcoming these obstacles or finding success. I’ve tried to partner with well-meaning folks who had built businesses from the ground up in a completely different industry, believing that some keys in business can be replicated in any industry (which is true, but you do need more than just the fundamental business stuff to make it work). The results that buying into these supposed magic beans (or wands) were loss of time, more questions, and dead ends.

What is the Magic Wand Myth? It’s a promise or pitch that “All You Need” is a hope, a dream, and very little work on your part to achieve your goals. And it’s not true.

Who do you know who has achieved greatness that didn’t require risk, failure, and lots of work?

Farming and gardening are great examples of process that requires dedication, commitment, and process. So is invention and the art of innovation. Can you say Thomas Edison wasn’t a genius? How many attempts at the light bulb were made until he figured it out? That’s commitment and process in a very big picture sense.

As an artist and creator, you’re trying to make impacting experiences for people that lead to them buying into your magic (no wand required). The “buying in” part of that is them literally spending money, time, and energy on you. It’s a relationship you’re having, even if the interaction is different than most of your relationships.

How long does it take to foster relationships? What about relationships that lead to transactions of money and time? The answers depend on different factors but few (if any) every happen in an instant.

This is true for your work as a musician, entrepreneur, and creator. It’s true for your audience growth and it’s true for gaining media coverage like radio and blogs. An email that only says “I’m a musician; listen to me; hear my new song; my songs rule” doesn’t create connection. There’s no magic here.

Instead, be relational. Think of achieving the goals you have like planting a seed. Nurture it, cultivate the connection. Give and take, and offer the other parties involved something that benefits them. Commit some of your time and energy into building connection and see magic take place. For musicians, take this principle and apply it to your music with The Indie Radio Promotion Course.

This is what I’ve done to successfully grow my enterprise, my business, and my radio program. It has all taken time, and been more than worth it. Are there individual steps to take in this process? Absolutely yes. Would you like to know what those steps are so you can have a richer, greater, and more beneficial audience? Good. Tell me below what your goals are and where you are right now in the process.

Following This Twitter Trend Will Burn Bridges


“Twitter Tip: Keep tagging the same person in a post that you make every single day with a link from 9 months ago to boost your site traffic.”

That’s not really a Twitter tip, but there are people who are following this course of action every day. It’s certainly a way to burn bridges quickly with the people who are tagged. Here’s why:

Someone a while back must have found some success doing this on Twitter, so they told someone else to do it. Eventually it became a trend or a “How-to-grow-your-Twitter-following” tip.

Or maybe no one has had success with this but continued doing any way, and because they did it to someone it was copied. We tend to do what we see others do, even if it doesn’t work.

But the reality is, this provides little benefit to the people who are tagged when there is no response from the individuals posting the tweet. There’s also no response from the followers of either entity, no clicks to the link, and no traction from the post.

If a social media trend annoys you, it probably annoys others too. If something annoys you, do you want to have people do it to you?

Here’s what happened: I did a feature article on an artist who was trying to grow their audience. It was a short piece several months ago (close to a year now), a few words, a video, a brief review and that’s it.

The week the tweet was posted, I promoted it a few times. That’s appropriate. The promoter of the artist promoted the link as well. Two weeks later, they were sending the exact same tweet nonstop every other hour. Then 6 months (yes months not weeks) later and at multiple times a day the exact same tweet was being posted by this promotion group for the artist. And I’m tagged in it.

“Why is this annoying?” you may be thinking. Isn’t getting tagged so much by artists and promoters a good thing for rankings and publicity?

It might be, but I honestly haven’t see a jump in site views or links clicked because of that. What I do get are countless notifications that someone tagged me. Like you, I want to see who is engaging with me and how I can respond. But you can’t respond to the same message again and again. It’s Spam, and trying to respond to spam doesn’t do much.

Plus, the Promotion Company won’t reply to the tweets I have sent regarding this issue. So what good does their Tweeting do for them?

When you get publicity, a review, or mentioned by the media you should promote that link or video or whatever it is. You should promote that for a week, and you should use that to forward your marketing. But don’t rely on that one piece of press exclusively. Certainly don’t use the exact same copy every time you post something on social media, especially if you’re tagging the media contact in it each time.  It doesn’t make you look very good.

Let me be clear. I’m not opposed to being tagged, actually it’s a great thing because it usually builds connections. But when tagging someone turns into spam, it’s going to be really hard to get them to talk about you organically to their following, and that is what you’re really after. Organic shares generate so much more activity than any other kind of post, including paid promotions (which are also effective).

All this to say, be careful how you treat your posts and marketing messages online. If you’re saying the same things over and again, and if you’re not really working to make connections and conversations with people, that can come across the wrong way and burn a bridge. Do you know what your marketing and communication strategy is online or do you have one? If not, you and I should talk.

Spam doesn’t serve anyone’s interest, the musician/artist, the media platform, or the audience. It doesn’t work on social media and it doesn’t work when contacting radio stations. Yet, this happens every day. Have you ever tried to get noticed by radio, media, or online fans by tagging people? Have you sent the same message out to countless contacts, hoping to get a reply so you can get featured?

You may still be waiting for a response that won’t come.

There is a way to make real connections, both with fans and with radio. It has to do with how you reach out, not necessarily what you say. If this has been your experience, let me know what you are wanting to do that isn’t working. Your difficulty or struggle is something artists face everyday. Let’s talk about how you can overcome them.

I’m Avoiding Shortcuts (And Why You Should Too)

15338308235_014a57c693_zThe “Get Rich Quick” ideal has seeped into far too many areas and realms of our collective mindsets, at times without our knowledge. We now have an app for nearly every and any need possible, which presents a work-around to many of the real and necessary processes in life.

We imagine that the success of our pursuits only requires that quick tip to instantly achieve our endeavors, whether it’s improving our relationships, our health, or our businesses.

I’ve not found a shortcut to success in life, though I’ve searched, explored, attempted, and tried the methods presented by the “experts” in blogs, books, videos and webinars. It must not be in the cards for me to try something simple and then wake up the next day with millions of fans, followers, requests, revenue, and contracts.

Has the shortcut to success worked for you?

What has brought me success, good-fortune and (best of all) fulfillment is commitment to process, time, focus and people. The curation of relationships and communication in them has been a tremendous blessing in my personal and professional life. The same could be said for you.

We’re all looking to build something. The communities we align ourselves with are the locations for where we can achieve the most growth and fulfillment in our endeavors. My focus is on growth through hunkering down and investing in people in the the communities of music and small business to cultivate relationships.

It’s better to prepare for the long haul than focus on only the short-term benefits. Your staying power depends on our commitment to people and processes. How committed to your long-term success are you? Share your commitment and goals with me here: